The EXCEL Fund
Recruiting and retaining future civil engineers
What comes to mind when you think of civil engineering? Roadways, skylines and bridges? Renewable energy, clean water and sustainable environments?
You know that civil engineering is all of these things, and much more. You know that civil engineering is an exciting career, vital to the world we live in today. But how can we help others understand the varied paths and opportunities that a career in civil engineering offers? Enter the EXCEL Fund. This fund provides monetary support that helps us spread the word to K-12 students about civil engineering concepts and careers, and also assists current students with resumes, interview skills, internships and co-op opportunities.
In the past year, the Lyles School of Civil Engineering participated in several outreach opportunities, both on campus and in the local community. The STEP (Seminar for Top Engineering Prospects) summer program hosts rising high school seniors on Purdue’s campus for a weeklong residential opportunity to explore engineering disciplines.
The student participants often say they are grateful for the interaction they have with current CE students. “I learned a lot about civil engineering and it was nice to hear from a student similar to me,” one student says. “It was amazing being able to see different labs and hear firsthand about a grad student’s project.”
The Lyles School of Civil Engineering also participated in a new campus program called Purdue’s Clues. In this program, local high school students spent the day on campus, exploring Purdue engineering activities in an “Amazing Race”-style event. In addition, we held a CE Day at Imagination Station, a local science center. There, children and their families interacted with current civil engineering students while exploring civil engineering-themed children’s activities.
Outreach to grade school and high school students is not the only way the EXCEL Fund supports our efforts to educate the next generation of civil engineers. The External Relations Office provides assistance for current students who want to enhance their educational experience by participating in internships and co-ops. Students also have the opportunity to develop their career search skills through resume review, interview preparation and networking with industry partners, both on campus and through the careers section of our webpage.
Our students value the services we provide as evidenced by their feedback:
- “The CE website and External Relations Office were very helpful this past year with my full-time employment search.”
- “Civil has done a great job sending out job opportunities. It made my search much easier.”
- “Thanks for all of your help! I can’t wait to see the impact I can make with my education.”
Civil engineering impacts our society on a daily basis. The EXCEL Fund helps to support outreach efforts for prospective students and their parents, and provides current students the assistance and guidance they need to be successful as they enter their careers and beyond.
If you or your company would like to learn more and support the EXCEL Fund, please contact Courtney Schmidt in the CE Development Office at 765-496-0116 or firstname.lastname@example.org